Safety performance 

We have no higher priority than safety, not only for our employees but for everyone who comes to our sites. Our ultimate goal is no accidents or injuries.

Our Executive Safety Steering Committee, chaired by our Chief Executive, meets throughout the year to review our safety performance and improvement programmes. Our senior executives undertake executive safety audits at most of our sites around the world each year.

Our ultimate goal is to have no accidents and no injuries.

We have continued to undertake a thorough review of our safety management programme during the year, using external and internal auditors to review safety management and controls at all our major sites. We found that good progress had been made in terms of corrective actions from previous audits and in overall safety management and control standards.

Here we report our safety results as set out in our 2016 Annual Report. The figures are for calendar year 2015.

The safety performance indicators of recordable incident rate and lost-work case rate – for employees and contractors combined – saw decreases of 11% and 50% respectively during calendar year 2015.

The majority of incidents requiring treatment beyond first aid were the result of being struck by or struck against an object and therefore, during calendar year 2016, we are implementing a campaign to prevent these types of incidents.

  2015  2014  2013
Fatalities 31 22

1 One employee and two contractors.

2 One employee and one external truck driver. 

In 2015, five of our US plants each won two US Corn Refiners Association (CRA) Safety Awards. Our annual global safety week saw many employees and their families, alongside contractors, taking part in activities across our sites worldwide. Our annual children’s safety calendar drawing contest, for employees’ families, encourages the next generation to be safe.

No fatalities occurred during calendar year 2015 (2014 – three).


incident rate


case rate

2015 Change
2015 Change
Employees 0.46


0.12 -59%
Contractors 1.47 30% 0.26 -33%
Combined 0.76 -11%  0.16 -50%

External Benchmarking
To put our safety performance in context and because the majority of our employees are located in the US, we compare our results with US industry averages, as shown in the graphs below.

We also compare ourselves against other companies to review and understand how they manage safety. We work to apply the learnings gained in further improving our own safety controls and practices.



Safety improvement
We work hard to continuously improve our safety programmes, controls and performance. Initiatives that we implemented during 2015 included:

Prevention through Design (PtD)
In the design phase of capital projects, before submitting projects for approval, project managers and engineers use process hazard analyses and PtD to ‘design out’ hazards and risks. Later, we then use task risk assessments and safety reviews before the installation phase of new capital equipment. This PtD approach extends into on-going hazard identification and avoidance during the operational phase of equipment. We look for ways to eliminate and engineer out hazards; seeking to only use administrative controls or personal protective equipment as the ‘last resort’. For example, in terms of ergonomics, by installing vacuum lifters we have avoided or reduced the need for manual handling of raw materials and finished product sacks, therefore reducing the risk of injury from lifting.

Our technical safety standards are subject to regular review and update to ensure that we are consistently taking the best approach across our global facilities.

Safe design and condition of tall structures and process storage
In 2015 we completed a programme of integrity checks by external structural engineers of tall buildings and process storage structures and equipment at our major manufacturing locations globally, to confirm that they were of a safe design and condition. We also:

• Audited our preventative maintenance programmes at those facilities. We seek to ensure that all equipment is routinely checked and maintained to be reliable and safe
• Had external experts conduct explosion risk assessments of combustible dust in process equipment and facilities.

Additional safety resources
We operate a work permit system at our manufacturing facilities globally, to ensure effective hazard assessment and safety control arrangements for a variety of non-routine activities performed by our employees and contractors. At sites where we have seen an increased workload – due to production expansion projects for example – we hired additional engineers to ensure that this process is always correctly conducted and managed.

In 2015 our manufacturing sites also audited their completed work permits for adequacy; and, in our safety audits by corporate staff and outside experts, we checked to see that this had been done and was effective.

SafeStart® behavioural safety training
During 2015 we completed the training of staff at our global manufacturing facilities in the SafeStart® behavioural safety programme. SafeStart® training contributes to our strong safety culture and also encourages employees’
behavioural safety practices outside of work, including at home with their families. We are also providing SafeStart® training for employees at our offices.

‘Let’s Stay Safe’ booklet
During 2015 we created and distributed globally a ‘Let’s Stay Safe’ booklet to increase awareness and focus on programmes that prevent serious injuries and fatalities, such as our work permit system.

Eliminating slips, trips and falls
In 2015 we implemented a ‘Walking is an Activity’ campaign – and an associated winter safety campaign – to help eliminate slips, trips and falls.

The psychology of accident prevention and enhancing safety skills
In 2015 we used an external consultant to conduct training of production facility managers and supervisors in the US on the psychology of safety, including: why people commit unsafe acts; how to intervene if they see an unsafe act; how to give proper feedback; and why people do not intervene.

We also used external trainers to help enhance our safety knowledge and skills on mechanical integrity, combustible dust, flammable liquids and vapours, static electricity hazards, hazardous area classifications, and process safety management.


Man in Hard hat

Manufacturing excellence